Archive for April, 2011

What We Learned From Prem Week 34

The Cruelest Week Of All

Not just for arch philosopher king Arsenal Wenger, whose team of Fine Young Incapables managed to pull a gigantic 2 points out of a possible 9, drawing with first Loserpool, then letting a 3-1 lead magically transform itself into a 3-3 draw against Tottingham before finally delivering the pièce de resistance of losing to a Bolton team who’d just been pounded 5-0 by anti-football miscreants Stoke only a week earlier. Wenger is looking more and more like a distraught King Lear just before his eyes are poked out with sticks. Or maybe he’s just steeling the team up for their seemingly inevitable place in the Race For Fourth (surely that can’t have been the Quadruple he was talking about only five or six weeks ago?).

Not just for bluff bulldog faced dribble merchant ‘Arry Redknapp, whose team seems further and further away from fourth place and Big Cup football next season. His team could only scrape a draw at home against relegation form Arsenal. That’s two points less than ‘stuffed in the semis’ Bolton. Then they went and drew with Uncle Wroy’s Lovely Boys, which pretty much cemented 5th or even 6th place. Sure his prize boy Defoe did manage to score his 100 goal for Tottingham (and Spurs’ 1,000th in the Prem), but that makes a grand total of three whole Prem goals this season from the notorious offside trap and that puts him into the Bendtner, Ngog, Santa Cruz league. And, no Jermaine, it’s not a great day for you if your team doesn’t win. Unless you’re consumed by your own ego that is.

Not just for Wigan’s dainty Roberto Martinez, whose balloon of optimism, so recently inflated by the excellent win over Blackpool, was most severely popped by the once-nosediving Sunderland who stuffed his boys good and proper despite having both their remaining fit strikers carted off the pitch with injuries after barely an hour.

Not just for Real Blackburn’s Fat Sam lookilikey Steve Kean, whose side have taken a whopping 10 points out of their last 14 games and were outdone by an obdurate Man City. Admittedly that’s probably a points ratio up there with Sunderland’s, but the latter a) actually won this weekend and b) have more points than you (although let’s face it not that many more points).

And most certainly not for West Ham mainstay Scott Parker who was voted the Players’ Player of the Year yet wasn’t able to play through injury and saw his side return to the bottom following a thorough beasting by Chelski. Saying the award would be tarnished by relegation is a Defoe-like understatement.

And The Games

Arsenal managed to press the full implosion button at Bolton. True Bolton have been atrocious away from home, but their home form has been good and in Daniel Sturridge they have one of the loanee deals of the season. But no matter how good Bolton were, Arsenal were unimpressive in the extreme, with the usual suspects seeming to be hardly bothered about the game.

Earlier Man U again did what they seem to do best, scraping through a tight game with a last minute goal (or to be fair an 83rd minute goal). So no need for extended Fergie Time against an obdurate if unimpressive Everton. Man U appear to be tightening the screw on the opposition and finding something of the form they lacked earlier in the season.

Stepping up to second place, Chelski had a very successful win over a very poor West Ham on the most waterlogged pitch in the Prem. So successful indeed that even Torres got into the goalscoring act. Chelsea have been sneakily crawling up along the inside where no one seems to have noticed that they have suddenly become the form team in the division once again. It’s hard to recall back to the beginning of the season when they were perceived as the clear leaders and obvious title favourites, before Man City beat them and threw them into the kind of tailspin from which few teams recover, but here they were back to something approaching their best. West Ham, on the other hand, had a vague, bleary moment early in 2011 when it looked like they might actually string together more than a couple of wins at a time. Then they signed Robbie Keane on loan. Although no one expected them to do anything against Chelski, they looked so bad not doing it that you have to fear for those games where they may once have harboured ambitions of points.

Matching Arsenal in the falling from grace stakes are their North London rivals, Tottingham, who seem to be doing their level best to hand Man City the keys to the Big Cup. Their home draw against West Brom might not be as bad as Arsenal’s loss to them, but it’s still an immense handicap in a season that is fast running out of promise for Spurs. Uncle Wroy’s miraculous rehabilitation continues apace.

So, mysteriously, does that of the Loserpool RedSox. Now apparently freed from the shackles of Uncle Wroy’s restrictive formula (not to mention the rigours of competing in Europe or any other cup competition), the RedSox have been storming ahead. Say what you like about international Cheat Superstar Dirty Suarez, there’s no disputing that his energy and determination have rejuvenated a team that was looking irredeemably tired and staid at the turn of the year, so much so that they will be serious contenders next season. They absolutely hammered a wretched Boremingham side, who seem to have reverted to type. The fact that the formerly useless Maxi got a hattrick only emphasises how poor the Bores were.

Wa-Hey! as they might say in the North East. Sunderland, whose plummet down the table was approaching record proportions, managed to halt their slide and bag some points at last. That they did it against the relatively rubbish Wigan and at the expense of their last two remaining strikers, both of whom were carted off with season ending hamstring twinges, will bother none of their supporters. They now have a fabulous 41 points and that’s got to be enough to keep them in the division. So now it’s all suntan and sombreros and the long wait to preseason friendlies. Wigan have got it all to do now to escape the drop.

Untidy draws certainly aren’t the way out of the relegation zone, although Blackpool, who drew with Newcastle and Wolves, who drew with Fulham will be happy that both Wigan and West Ham lost. Villa and Stoke won’t really be too worried about taking a point each. Villa have survived in a season they will certainly want to forget, while Stoke have bigger fish to fry in the FA Cup Final.

In the midweek catchup games Fulham beat a Bolton side that seems to travel incredibly badly, Man City made hard work out of beating Real Blackburn, but still managed to extend their lead in the Race for Fourth, while Stoke probably hammered in one last, final nail into Wolves’ relegation coffin.

Rob Green Save Of The Day

A particularly poor weekend for goalkeeping howlers, but there was at least one game where goalkeepers really stood out. If only because both were Birmingham keepers. First Ben Foster parried Maxi’s shot right back at him for Liverpool’s first. He then went off with what can only be described as an ’embarrassed’ hamstring. His replacement Colin Doyle then managed to not only parry back Maxi’s strike for his second goal but then allowed a tame Joe Cole shot to squiggle under his body.

Archive for April, 2011

Komplete Icons For Logic

I put these together a while ago. They’re a set of Komplete instrument icons suitable for putting into Logic so that you can highlight which tracks include Komplete instruments.
For details on how to use the icons, please see Toby Pitman’s nice tutorial.
Anyway, here they are…
Komplete icons for Logic

Archive for April, 2011

More Tweets From The Palace 2011-04-24

Archive for April, 2011

New Demo From Lairds Of Scunthorpe


Another new tune from the upcoming Lairds album.

[soundcloud params=”auto_play=false&show_comments=true”][/soundcloud]

Archive for April, 2011

What We Learned From Prem Week 33

And Then There Were None…

Spring is always the cruelest of seasons in football. Never more so than for football philosopher king Arsenal Wenger, who has been forced to narrow his gaze somewhat over the last few weeks – first it was the Quadruple that was hideously snatched from his grasp thanks to the kind of defensive fuckupery that must still give him nightmares, then there was that awkward week in mid-March when both the Big Cup and the FA Cup were denied (admittedly by Barcelona and Man U respectively), which left only the League to fight for. And now, thanks to a string of really poor draws, even this looks like a step too far for Wenger’s Fine Young Crap Incapables. [pullthis]Indeed so far and so fast are they failing that it appears that Wenger’s real challenge will be retaining the second spot that Arsenal have occupied for so much of the season[/pullthis].

[pullshow]Watching their latest match against Liverpool was an exercise in frustration that encapsulated the Arsenal season. Nil-nil for the first 100 or so minutes, this was a story of Arsenal pressurising Liverpool into their own half, restricting their ability to play and mastering the game, but, like impotent old men, they were unable to convert pressure into genuine goalscoring attempts let alone goals. Finally in double super extra ‘Fergie Time’  they get and scored a penalty. 1-0 with 102 minutes gone, it’s got to be game over. But no, this is the Arsenal side who’ve managed to let a 4-0 lead slip, who’ve given a cup final away in the last minute, who’ve squandered lead after lead, the masters of turning three points into one (or none), and they don’t do game over. Not this season. For this season they are utterly incapable of holding a lead for even as long as 90 seconds let alone closing out a match for a whole two minutes. So it was no surprise that Liverpool applied about their only meaningful moment of pressure and Arsenal cracked like crazy paving. Softest penalty of the year conceded and that was that, three points become one in a move that was somehow less of a surprise than a ghastly inevitability.

All of which leaves Wenger with a mountain to climb and a load of questions to answer. Question, would a cup final and third (or even second) represent a good season or a disappointing one? Alternatively, why is it that Spurs, who will probably finish outside the top four places and won’t win anything this season are apparently having a ‘great, successful’ season, while Arsenal, who will finish above them, albeit with no trophies either, appear in ‘crisis’? Someone has to get a sense of proportion about this.

Those Somewhat Truncated Games

It was FA Cup semi final weekend, which given that it featured four Prem teams meant that the Prem schedule has now really been thrown out of whack. Oh and in what might be the most ironic moment of the season it sets up Master of Anti-Football and Stoke manager Tony Pulis to possibly win some silverwear while Saviour of The Beautiful Game Wenger wins nothing (again). How galling (not to mention Gaulling) would that be?

Man U‘s draw with Newcastle now seems like less of a dropped two points and more of a grinding nail in the coffin of this least inspiring of all Prem seasons. Mind you their treble challenge was also slapped down as Man City beat them in the FA Cup semi final.

Meanwhile, coming up on the outside it’s the unexpected Chelski juggernaut, the same juggernaut that had looked so impressive in the early stages of the season before going AWOL and crossing the central reservation as it plunged out of control and flew down the table like one of those wayward ‘Look Ma I’ve just had my brakes tampered with and on a steep road with lots of corners would you believe’ 16 wheelers so beloved of ’70s road movies. Their win over West Brom showed that they can do what Arsenal can’t, namely come back and win after conceding early to an Odemwinge strike.

Down among the dead folk, it was another tale of the losers really losing out as West Ham sank to Aston Villa, Real Blackburn lost to Everton, Birmingham didn’t so much beat Sunderland as let Sunderland beat themselves and, most amazingly of all, Wigan managed a win. Admittedly it was against Blackpool, who are just as capable of losing to anyone as they are of playing great football. Mind you this is not a great time to begin losing to those teams around you.

Rob Green Save Of The Day

Proving that there’s nothing new in football, Sunderland played the ‘Wengerboys’ card. This was their youngest ever starting 11 (still it must be said with an average age well over that of the Arsenal first team) and, not content with this apparently critical element of Arsenalness, they combined it with a high defensive line. Against Birmingham. Now Birmingham have a tried and practiced method of dealing with this, namely Route 1 Hoofery. And, showing that there’s nothing that Szczesney and Koscielney can do that lesser mortals can’t emulate, keeper Mignolet and defender Bardsley raced to meet a 70 yard hoof, only to bottle it about three feet out, leave it to the other man and gift Larsson with a tap in.

Laugh? It might have cost them three points, but at least it didn’t lose them a cup final.

Archive for April, 2011

More Tweets From The Palace 2011-04-17

  • Just beat my 8km cycling time. Knackered now. I may have to sit down for a while. Just in case. #
  • Started Cycle with @cyclemeter at 12:41, on Treyford Loop route, see, Cyclemeter will speak your replies to me. #
  • Friday Football. Bloody hell. #
  • That's another poor nil – nil for Channel 5. They must really love the Europa League. What would they pay for a goal? #
  • Great refereeing in Braga Dynamo match. Sending off totally right. The sort of agricultural tackle that the Prem is notorious for. #
  • If I wanted to have stupid Oprah drivel on Flipbook I would have done it by now. Stop showing me crap Oprah promos. #fail #
  • RT @MatDolphin: Ooh, check out the plectrums on Jimi! » perfect combo of subject (Jimi) and medium (plectra). Genius #
  • According to PMDave we might give unneeded body armour to Libyan rebels. Like there is spare body armour our troops don't need lying about. #
  • Really looking forward to Spurs vs Real Madrid. Should be 100% full on attacktastic mayhem. They've only got to score 4 (or 5) more goals. #
  • Really enjoying Flipbook on the iPad. Making all your contributions look nicer… #
  • Wow MOTD2 have really bought into the YouTube highlights aesthetic. Only they're shit at it. Just show the football and can the rest #fail #